All posts by xyzik

Reyna ng Aliwan Press Conference | Press Release

HOTEL JEN MANILA WELCOMES REYNA NG ALIWAN PAGEANT FINALISTS

 MANILA: 23 April 2015 – Hotel Jen Manila hosted the recently concluded press conference for the Reyna ng Aliwan Pageant finalists. The Festival Queen Competition is one of the attractions in the Aliwan Fiesta 2015 at CCP Complex, Manila. The Aliwan Fiesta is now on its 13th year and is presented by the Manila Broadcasting Company and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Cities of Manila and Pasay. Over 5,000 delegates from various regions will showcase Filipino design and craftsmanship.

Recently rebranded as Hotel Jen Manila, the Traders Hotel Manila is the first to welcome the Hotel Jen brand in the Philippines. Catering to a new ‘Jeneration’ of independently minded business and leisure travellers, the brand has launched ten Hotel Jens in major cities in the Asia Pacific.

HJM_Reyna ng Aliwan Press Con

Mr. Edward Kollmer, General Manager of Hotel Jen Manila and Mr. Ruperto S. Nicdao, Jr., President of the Manila Broadcasting Company together with the 21 Reyna ng Aliwan Pageant finalists.

HJM_Reyna ng Aliwan Press Con (1)

The 21 finalists of Reyna ng Aliwan Pageant.

HJM_Reyna ng Aliwan Press Con (2)

Mr. Edward Kollmer, General Manager of Hotel Jen Manila and Mr. Ruperto S. Nicdao, Jr., President of the Manila Broadcasting Company together with the 21 Reyna ng Aliwan Pageant finalists.

HJM_Reyna ng Aliwan Press Con (4)

Hotel Jen Manila’s colleagues with the 21 Reyna ng Aliwan Pageant finalists.

Hotel Jen Manila Welcomes New General Manager | Press Release

HOTEL JEN MANILA WELCOMES EDWARD KOLLMER

AS THE NEW GENERAL MANAGER

 MANILA: 27 April 2015 – Hotel Jen Manila (formerly Traders Hotel, Manila) is pleased to announce the appointment of Edward Kollmer as the hotel’s new General Manager. Mr. Kollmer is responsible for overseeing the entire hotel’s day-to-day operations. With a wealth of over a decade of hospitality experience, he brings a tactical approach to revenue management and operational excellence for the recently rebranded hotel.

His passion and drive to achieve excellence in operations and progress in business development continues to inspire the team to embrace the values and vision of Hotel Jen and live Jen’s dream for guests which is to start with anticipation and end on a high.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Kollmer was the General Manager of Thistle Johor Bahru in Malaysia for three years. He also worked as a General Manager for Thistle the Royal Trafalgar Hotel, Grosvenor Hotel, Thistle Marble Arch in London and Holiday Inn Rochester UK.

An Irish national, Mr. Kollmer graduated from Shannon College of Hotel Management and completed his master’s degree from the University of Buckingham in the United Kingdom.

Located on Roxas Boulevard, Hotel Jen is just about 20 minutes away from the international and domestic airports and it’s 30 minutes away to the Makati Business District. Just next door are the country’s premier conference and exhibition facilities: the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippine International Convention Center, World Trade Center and SMX Convention Center. But life should never be all work and no play—Malate, the entertainment district is only a short walk away.

For inquiries, please call (632) 795 8888. Visit www.hoteljen.com/manila.  In the social media channels, Hotel Jen Manila is on Facebook (/HotelJenManila), Twitter (@HotelJenManila) and Instagram (@hoteljenmanila).

Hotel Jen Manila’s General Manager, Mr. Edward Kollmer

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Hotel Jen Manila’s General Manager, Mr. Edward Kollmer

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Eat Your Peas, Love Your Lentils

For some people, the most interesting thing that they remember about peas is in one scene of

Cartoon Network’s animated series, The Powerpuff Girls. In this early episode, Supper Villain shown in

1999, the new next-door neighbors are invited to the girls’ for dinner. The neighbor, Harold, then

orders, “Eat your pea, Professor!” in what now is one of the most famous – and funniest – scenes of The

Powerpuff Girls. It is a memorable scene because The Professor, a grown man, tried in an excruciating

way to eat and swallow one small pea.

A lack of information makes peas much maligned and there is much to clear about them. Like

The Professor, there are people who find it difficult to eat their vegetables. But unknown to many, peas

(and lentils) are two of the healthiest foods on the planet. They may be small in size, but they are a

powerhouse when it comes to diet and nutrition.

Dried peas, lentils, and chickpeas are called ‘pulses’. These are their seeds and members of the

legume family that are packed with protein, fiber, anti-oxidants, calcium, and iron. According to the US

Dry Pea and Lentil Council of the USDA, pulses are everything on one plate: they deliver great flavor

that’s not only nutrient-dense, but also gluten-free with low allergen and low glycemic responses. They

are one of the greatest additions to any diet, but especially for those who are diabetic, those who have

heart problems, and those who are trying to lose weight.

PROTEIN

Legumes use nitrogen from the atmosphere to make protein. They are a valuable equivalent to

animal protein but have the added benefit of being low in fat and less in calories. In comparison, a 6 oz.

cut of steak provides 40 g of protein, but also 38 g of fat (14 g saturated fat) while a cup of cooked lentils

gives 18 g of protein and only 1 g of fat. This is not surprising, considering lentils are the third-highest

sources of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut (next only to soybeans and hemp).

Protein is an important cell builder of the body. It is crucial in building muscle and tissue, the

parts of your body you need to move and lead an active lifestyle. When choosing sources of protein, it is

essential to select lean, nutrient-dense food like beans, nuts, and whole grains. Dried peas and lentils

are available everywhere, any time of the year, and so offer one of the most inexpensive sources of

protein.

FIBER

Fiber is important because it helps clean out one’s digestive system. Along with an adequate

intake of liquids, fiber flushes out unwanted toxins from the body. Soluble or dietary fiber reduces the

risk of developing many diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and constipation. And

because fiber-rich foods fill one up quickly, there are less calories consumed.

Fiber is found mainly in legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The more you eat, and the

more active you are, the more you need fiber. Here are the recommendations for adults of the Institute

of Medicine regarding daily fiber intake:

Age 50 or younger: 

Men 38 grams

Women 25 grams

Age 51 or older:

Men: 30 grams

Women: 21 grams

*Institute of Medicine, 2012 

Peas and lentils provide one of the highest amounts of fiber. A cup of cooked split peas gives

16.3 g of fiber, while a cup of cooked lentils has 15.6 g of fiber. To compare, the traditional source of

fiber, cooked oatmeal, contains 4 g of fiber.

ANTIOXIDANTS

Peas and lentils like beans and other legumes are rich in phytochemicals. These antioxidants

help in defending the body against the effects of free radicals, and slow down aging and breakdown of

body processes. Studies show that a diet high in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables is linked to a

reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

NUTRITION POWERHOUSE

These are just a few of the health benefits from consuming peas and lentils. Considering how

small they are, it is easy to dismiss them as a good source of nutrients but studies from all over the

world show that peas and lentils are two of the healthiest foods one can eat.

In the Philippines, Easycook brand of US No. 1 grade peas, lentils, and beans are the highest

grade. These are best in quality – they have bright uniform color, uniform size (for even cooking), and

have no visible defects like cracked seed coats and foreign materials. In other words, the more uniform

the color and size, the higher their grade will be. They meet specifications and standards set by the

USDA for both growers and consumers, and for local and international consumption, and these US No. 1

grade peas and lentils are the only ones provided by Easycook.

Easycook peas, lentils, and beans are what Filipinos need for a fit and healthy lifestyle as they

are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, folate (iron), and calcium. Easycook variants include yellow and

green split peas, lentils, great Northern beans, pinto beans, and light red kidney beans and are available

in leading supermarkets like SM, Shopwise, Rustan’s, Landmark and Cash & Carry.

On December 21, 2013, recipes creatively using peas and lentils were demonstrated by Filipino

master chef Ojie Reloj at a media event. Chef Ojie is an architect by trade so he knows to meld function

and beauty while emphasizing the importance of using local resources, which he also does in his

cooking. Some of the recipes he loves include Lentils a la Mongo (prepared the same way as mongo,

using lentils as a healthy mongo replacement), Lentils or yellow split peas empanaditas, and Lentils and

Pesto Macaroni Soup.

Because of their high nutrient content, peas and lentils are recommended for everyone. They

are the smart alternatives for a healthy and robust lifestyle. This is one of the best health advices: eat

your peas, love your lentils!

Easycook peas, lentils, and beans are distributed in the Philippines by Ideal Macaroni and

Spaghetti Factory Inc. For more information, please go to their website http://www.idealmacaroni.com

A belly-ful of sense

a-bellyful-of-sense-21669539

Published in the Daily Tribune Life
08 September 2012

From the womb, a tiny miracle of life emerges. While it’s worth every challenging phase, the phase itself, as every pregnant woman knows, is undeniably a crazy maze.
Pregnant women go through nine months of changes, and it’s not easy. The baby growing inside changes almost all the positions of the organs, making space for itself. From there, the soon-to-be mother starts feeling weird, nauseous and a little more uncomfortable everyday; then the morning sickness and constant cravings, among many other symptoms.

The hardest of challenges is when pregnant women step out into the real world. Not even a fourth of the whole world lives in Japan, yet this country takes mother care very seriously. Pregnant women in Japan are provided with badges by railways, airlines, hospitals and other service and retail companies so they can be identified and treated well while they are in public places. The badge alerts people especially during rush hour, to make room and give special care to pregnant moms.

From the same concept, Pigeon, a provider of baby and child care products and services in Japan, a the market leader in that category, is beginning a campaign to generate the same level of awareness called Baby in My Belly. This campaign aims to inform, educate and raise the level of public awareness on how to properly look after mothers-to-be; and for first-time mothers out there, this campaign can also yield valuable information.

Baby in My Belly was launched to the general public last August 26 at the Grand Atrium of the Shangri-La Plaza and had its next launch last September 1 at The Block, SM City North Edsa.

During each launch, Baby in My Belly put up a Wall of Mom’s Well Wishes, which is a collage of encouraging messages like wishes for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, wishes for the welfare of the baby and, of course, wishes for also the family members as they enter a new chapter of life altogether. Baby in My Belly also includes activities and special workshop sessions that tackle relevant issues for expectant mothers, several of which are in partnership with some of the country’s most reputable health institutions.

“Baby in my Belly highlights the importance of ensuring not just the baby’s well-being throughout pregnancy, but also the mother’s,” says Maye Yao Co Say, chief operating officer of the exclusive distributor of Pigeon products in the country, Richwell Philippines Inc.

“As the premier brand that looks after the needs of mothers and mothers-to-be, Pigeon goes beyond providing durable, high-quality and user-friendly products to underscore its commitment to these women with this initiative,” she enthused.

Proud mother of three and Pigeon brand ambassador Amina Aranaz-Alunan, expressed her enthusiasm for the campaign, saying, “It’s high time that Filipinos are made aware of the value of looking after pregnant women, and I can’t think of a better brand than Pigeon to be spearhead such an advocacy here in the country. As a mom, I have personally experienced the frustrations of an expectant mother. It’s important that her family, friends and even others know how to best support her during pregnancy.”

Etiquette guide

During the media event of Baby in My Belly, the issue on how pregnant women get upset in pregnancy was tackled. Though we were conversing on the frustrations of mothers during and after the nine months, the event itself was nothing but light and easy. We were all seated around the long, rectangular soft pink covered table enjoying a signature Margarita Fores lunch with Amina and Lexi Schulze.

The two kept exchanging stories of their ups and downs on their previous pregnancies. They also embarked on the practical applications of The Pigeon Mom Pregnancy Etiquette Guide, a guide that provides pointers on how people should treat women during and after the pregnancy.

For example Pointer #8 states: “No matter how tempting, refrain from touching our tummies unless given permission.” Any person really doesn’t like being touched especially by strangers, but somehow people forget this when it comes to pregnant mothers. People often think it is suwerte (lucky) to touch pregnant women so when one passes by they have the urge to grab a touch so luck can come their way.

Lexi reminisced when people asked if they could touch her belly while she was pregnant, but before she could answer their hands were already on her belly. Actions like these can really tick off a woman, making them want to stay home instead.

Another thing to remember is Pointer #10, which states: “Do not point out how much weight we’ve gained. That, my friends, is a valuable lesson that applies even after we gave birth.” Do not even guess, “You’re in your sixth month, aren’t you?” when you’re not sure because what if she was only on her third month; that just means you’re pointing out the person has grown bigger than usual and that will not make any woman feel great with herself.

The Pigeon Mom Pregnancy Etiquette Guide is located inside a newly released pocketbook of Pigeon called Mom’s Pocketbook, a perfect resource to help women journey through pregnancy.
Mom’s Pocketbook contains “important charts to be filled up during regular visits to the doctor; as well as detailed, step-by-step suggestions on how to care for oneself during and after pregnancy-for instance, what to expect when it comes to breastfeeding, accompanied by a selection of relevant Pigeon products that will prove useful for this,” Yao Co Say reveals.

“With Baby in my Belly, we are able to show our full support for expectant mothers, going beyond providing them child and mother care products that aid them throughout their pregnancy. After all, a baby’s well-being is not just dependent on how great your child care products are, it is also something that results from how well mom looks after herself and how others care for her,” she explained.

So what is there to expect when expecting? Pigeon teaches pregnant moms to expect the beauty of life and the surprises that comes along with it!

For more information on Pigeon and the Baby in My Belly campaign, call 441-1717; visit www.pigeon.com or the Pigeon Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pigeonphilippines.

Debunking breastfeeding myths

Published in Daily Tribune Life
July 6, 2012

debunking-breastfeeding-myths-21669710

Having breastfed four children, the first three for over a year each and the youngest for three years, advocating breastfeeding is an effortless task that comes straight from the heart.

I was not a stay at home mom, who had all the time in the world to sit and feed for hours on end. When I breastfed my first child, I was a full-time lecturer at the UP College in Baguio, teaching Journalism. I remember leaking milk while lecturing as I taught four straight hours. I kept on lecturing with a straight face even as I knew my students were wondering why there was a growing wet patch around my chest.

When I had my next child, I was working for a multimedia production house that required me to even work evenings after a full day at work. On my third child, I was reviewing for the bar exams, while I breastfed him and his elder brother all at the same time. And by the fourth child I was practicing law while I breastfed non-stop for three years.

It was not easy, but I made it through. I am grateful to have had that opportunity to nourish my child and have a special bond with them all throughout. Many times I had to rearrange my work schedule to ensure that I could breastfeed my children. And, yes, pumping milk was important for the time I would be gone most of the day.

In a recent conference on breastfeeding with the Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund) and the Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding Inc. (BBB), it was heartbreaking to hear that only 34 percent of mothers in the Philippines breastfeed. When the misconceptions in breastfeeding were presented, I could wholeheartedly agree from experience that, indeed, they are myths.

Five truths

First, exclusive breastfeeding is not a hindrance to a woman’s professional success. Throughout my breastfeeding years, I was a fulltime lecturer in Journalism; a full time-law student; lawyer and multimedia manager. None of my bosses felt my breastfeeding interfered with the quality and timely delivery of my work output.

Second, breastfeeding is not inconvenient. In fact, feeding at night is easier when breastfeeding a child. The breast milk is always at the right temperature, it’s pre-mixed and always fresh. There are no bottles and teats to sterilize, no water to warm up and no powder that gets contaminated.

Third, breastfeeding is not an alternative to formula, and it is not only for the poor as the nutrition it delivers is just as potent for babies born to parents with means. The nutrients and immune-building properties of breast milk are unparalleled. Proper breastfeeding techniques will also help the baby latch properly and gets the milk flowing.

Fourth, breastfeeding does not deform a woman’s breasts. Proper breastfeeding techniques and exercise can ensure that a woman’s breasts do not sag. Using pillows (boppy pillows shaped like a horseshoe) on one’s lap also helps a mother breastfeed comfortably and with ease, preventing the unnecessary downward pull of the breasts. Plus, breastfeeding does not make one fat. It is the quality and quantity of food and the amount of exercise one engages in that determines the ratio of fat to muscle. When breastfeeding, the stomach muscles contract as one breastfeeds and help the breastfeeding mother get back in shape.

Fifth, breastfeeding on demand and in public is not shameful. In fact, many clothing devises afford some privacy to breastfeeding moms in public. Some malls like SM also have breastfeeding centers for moms and babies to bond while the rest of the family is gallivanting in the mall.

BBB moms Daphne Oseña-Paez, Unicef Special Advocate for Children and celebrity host; Patricia Bermudez-Hizon, sportscaster and wife of PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) player Vince Hizon; and Iza Abeja, BBC executive director, exclusive breast feeders and advocates for BBC attest to these truths as they emulate Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding. With their careers, they were all still able to breastfeed their children and stay beautiful throughout the process as can be seen in their billboards along MIA Road in Pasay, Philcoa, Quezon City and Cubao near the DILG Building also in Quezon City. Breastfeeding education is key in opening the eyes of Filipina mothers that exclusive breastfeeding is best for their babies and even for their own bodies.

For more information on breastfeeding, visit http:// beautybrainsandbreastfeeding. blogspot.com/p/about-us.html, http://www.unicef.org/philippines/ children/breastfeeding_1.html or http://www.unicef.org/philippines/ reallives_17981.html.

Tales From the Other Side Series 4: Musings of a Kung Fu Wife on Practical Kung Fu

Geraldine R. Borromeo

Manila, PhilippinesIntention. The word conjures up extreme opposite associations like good intentions versus evil intent and honorable intentions versus lustful intent. When Sifu Vince told me to practice my horse stance with intent, I thought, “this guy is just over the top with his kung fu.”

Thinking while executing a movement has always proved too much for my mental capacity since it meant pairing the movement with intent. At the end of the day after handling complex commercial transactions for my clients, all I want to do is space out. If I had to move a muscle I wanted it to be a thoughtless movement.

That is why I am more attracted to aerobic exercises where I could stay at the back and just use my eyes to cue my body how to move. No one in any aerobic exercise class ever asked me to put more thought in the movement. All I had to do was reach a heart rate that would burn calories and make me sweat and that is about as much intent I could muster.

When Sifu Vince and I were first married he was constantly recruiting me to practice the basics of his martial art. Every time I watched him execute a form, the minute details of every hand, trunk, neck, head, waist, hip, leg and foot movement daunted me. The drill looked like a million thoughts must have been zinging through the Sifu’s head just to coordinate his mind with his body.

I had always thought of myself as awkward in the physical realm, clumsy most of the time as my family would attest. If something could spill, I would be the one to spill it. If something would drop and break into pieces, I would have to own up to it or live with the guilt. Performing a martial arts dance was definitely way beyond me and I would be better off reading or writing, my nose immersed in piles of paperwork. Tackling words is as easy as pie since all I needed to coordinate were my mind, my eyes and my fingers that would translate my thoughts.

Equating movement with intention then sounded a bit too weird for one like me until I got afflicted with a really bad case of flu. Needless to say, I stopped doing the horse stance while brushing my teeth, bathing, washing my face, etc. I was asleep most of three days and my recovery was slow as I shunned antibiotics and let my body heal with rest and plenty of liquids.

As I began moving about I started getting back on my routine and I mindlessly went on the horse stance as I was about to wash my hair. I felt my knees buckle as I bent it and I did not feel the stability I usually got. Then it hit me. I was just going through the motions of a horse stance with no intention of gaining the stability I needed.

The force of habit of bending my knee, tucking my tailbone in, leaning forward and keeping my head straight had no effect whatsoever. I was just plain tired so I let it go and got a chair to sit to finish washing my hair – an elaborate process of shampooing and conditioning to get soft, shiny cliché hair.

The next day I felt better and I realized that my horse stance gave me the stability that I needed while I went about my mundane routine of facial cleansing, moisturizing and applying make-up. I could feel my thighs strong, my tailbone tucked in, my core tight and my knees stable. It was such an amazing realization that I realized my intention or lack of it pre-determined the quality of just about anything I do.

I realize that when I take on a project with intent, the results clearly show the dedication and commitment I put into it. When I write with intent, it shows in the flow of words and ideas that shape into an engaging story. When I move with intent, the full benefit of the movement is reaped by my body in the same way.

Intention – it could spell the difference between ok and great; mediocre and stellar. Which way than shall we all take – the narrow way of Sifu Vince -to act with intent or the wider path – to act with passive lethargy?

Tales From the Other Side Series 3: Musings of a Kung Fu Wife on Practical Kung Fu

Geraldine R. Borromeo

Manila, Philippines

I broke my right kneecap while walking out the door of a mall. I did not twist my ankle or step on anything that could have caused my injury. My right kneecap just suddenly gave way and if it were not for the lady guard who was right at the door as I fell, I would fallen headlong unto the pavement.

As I tried to walk towards the nearest chair with the guard supporting me on my right side, my kneecap was excruciatingly painful with every step I took. I called my husband, Sifu Vince, and he brought me straight to the National Orthopedic Hospital in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

After an x-ray and a diagnostics procedure by the attending orthopedic doctor, my right leg was wrapped in a removable steel cast. I was ordered to stay home for two months in that cast, with permission to remove it only during bath time while sitting on a chair.

The tendons that cushioned my kneecap had given way and I needed to rest it from any pressure whatsoever if recovery was to begin. Two months later, I was given permission to remove the cast and begin rehabilitation.

I went through several knee exercises on my back at first then as I progressed a few weeks later, I could sit while doing the exercises. Finally, I could exercise my knees while standing up until I was declared free of the rehabilitation center. At that point, I was just ordered to continue the exercises at home.

While the rehabilitation process literally got me back on my knees, standing still for more than a few minutes at a time proved difficult for me. I would complain to my husband, Sifu Vince, that I needed a chair in the bathroom when I would shampoo and condition my hair as I could not stand for too long. Even while washing my face and brushing my teeth, standing in place was a challenge for my knees that would throb with the all so familiar ache.

Sifu Vince had an instant answer to my complaints and he got me standing up right away to teach me the horse stance. The name of the stance did not appeal to me as it conjured up images of a sore leg and buttocks after a horse ride.

Sifu Vince had me stand with my legs apart with my feet flat on the ground and aligned with each other. At first he let me stand with legs just shoulder width apart; then he told me to bend my knees at a slight angle; tuck in my tailbone; and move my upper body slightly forward as if I was leaning. All along I was told to maintain my head in an upright position as if it were a marionette being pulled by a string from the ceiling.

 
Sifu Vince told me to stay in that position for as long as I can, then rest for a while and get back on the horse stance longer each time. I was very reluctant, yet I was also very desperate so I followed the routine until he approved my stance.

For the past five years I have used this stance whenever I put on make-up, brush my teeth, shampoo and condition, wash my face, wash the dishes, prep ingredients for cooking, line-up in the bank and just about any activity that requires standing still for more than a few minutes.

My knees don’t ache anymore when I stand for a long time for as long as I am on the horse stance. I no longer feel weakness in my knees as I no longer stress it with prolonged pressure while standing.

The wonders of kung fu has helped me cope with my knee injury and no wonder it has. Sifu Vince explains that the horse stance is known for stability during a fight as it provides balance even if the body is in motion.

Bending the knees is an automatic reflex when the body’s balance is threatened. Thus, the horse stance, in kung-fu, in the kitchen and the vanity room has proved a lifeline for me after a knee injury.

In addition, my thigh muscles have strengthened from the countless horse stances daily; the core muscles in my tummy automatically clenche when I am on the horse stance, trimming my belly; and, my buttocks have firmed from endlessly tucking my tailbone.

Today, the horse stance is part of my everyday life. Even when I am on the train waiting to get to my stop,or waiting for a cashier to tally my tab, I am on the horse stance, with legs only slightly apart and tailbone tucked only so slightly, conspicuously doing kung-fu undercover.

Tales From the Other Side Series 2: Musings of a Kung Fu Wife on Practical Kung Fu

Geraldine R. Borromeo

Manila, Philippines

Watching my husband, Vince, practice Choy Li Fut kung fu daily impacted my life little except for the time it took him away from chores I would ask him to do from time to time. I would literally have to wait two hours until he finishes his practice before I could ask him to repair this or that.

While taking a walk with him one late afternoon right before dusk, I witnessed how his kung fu was practically applied in one of the most common situations one can get into in the residential streets of Metro Manila, Philippines.

We were taking a nice walk and the air was chillier than usual as it was nearing the Christmas season. As we made a turn, we passed by a rundown house with a dilapidated gate. Just as we passed the gate, a swarm of wild dogs came at me and fear immediately seized me. I froze in place. Vince was beside me, in front of me, and at my back in a flash in a never ending cycle of movement.

Every time a dog came nearer me there was Vince fending one dog after another and I couldn’t clearly make out his movements. What I saw was a flurry of arms, feet, and knees flung at every side and Vince striking the heads of the dogs as they came at me.

The dogs would not tire though and for what seemed like forever, I was in the middle of a skirmish between growling fierce street dogs and my husband who so valiantly defended me every moment.

Finally, the owner of the pack of dogs approached us and started commanding them away. What was startling was that I saw him in the corner of the street watching the spectacle the whole time without lending a hand.

He was probably fascinated with how Vince fended of all his dogs and that none of them got near enough to hurt me. Moreover, he was probably got scared that his dogs were getting hurt in the process so he finally decided to stop the skirmish.

As we were walking away I had a new respect for the martial arts. Having seen it applied in a practical situation that literally saved me from a pack of dogs gave me a new appreciation for the hours Vince put into his kung fu.

When I asked Vince what he did exactly, he told me that he would raise his hands to get the dogs attention, attracting it to go nearer him instead of me. As the dog’s head approaches nearer, he comes within striking distance of Vince kick.

I was so grateful that Vince had these skill set but understanding how he fended off a pack of dogs that were all coming at me at once is beyond me. The speed at which he swung from all sides was so cinematic that had I not come out of the situation in one piece, I would not have believed it myself.

To this day, I feel safe when I walk anywhere with Vince. Vince humble and wise as he is, always tells me that taking safety precautions is being a step ahead and it is more reliable than just depending on kung fu alone in a dangerous situation.

Tales From the Other Side Series 1: Musings of a Kung Fu Wife on Practical Kung Fu

Geraldine R. Borromeo

Manila, Philippines

When I first met Vince, his lean and muscular physique immediately impressed me. Before I found out that he was an avid practitioner of Choy Li Fut Kung Fu and that he was at it since high school, I had thought it was weightlifting and push ups that gave him that physique.

As I got to know him, I realized how deep he was in the martial arts. I was fascinated when he told me how he used to be a thin weak boy before he began martial arts training. Looking at him then, I would have never thought that he could hardly fight his own battles in grade school.

It was a bit strange though as he would often practice kung fu moves wherever we were, no matter who was in sight. As we were lining up for movie tickets, once the lines would not move, he would begin moving his hands into some kung fu form.

At first, it made me conscious of the people who would stare at him (and me!). After a while I got used to it and understood that he did not like being idle and he was just putting good use to idle time.

When Vince did some kung fu hand movements while we were sitting in a hall waiting for a program to begin, my oldest brother, Gerry Rullan, was alarmed. I almost fell off my seat with the look on my Kuya Gerry’s face and his inevitable question: “What is he doing?”

This reminds me of another friend who is also deep into kung fu. When they were visiting his wife’s friend in the hospital, my friend was a few paces away from the sickbed doing kung fu moves as his wife conversed with the patient!

This just goes to show that kung fu practitioners truly have kung fu in mind at every waking moment. Kung fu is second nature to them that they take every opportunity to practice their moves at any given time.

It is noteworthy to add that due to this relentless and constant practice, 14 years later since we were married, Vince still has a muscular body sans weightlifting. The defined muscles are the product of kung fu moves that have obviously built the fibers to contour his physique.

As a wife, I am glad I have grown older with a well built husband. In fact, when my friends see me with Vince, they are likewise impressed with Vince’s physique. And when they ask me if he goes to the gym regularly, I always quote Vince.

“Kung fu is a gem of a martial art as I can practice its forms no matter where I am, in a gym, a garden or any open space I can find,” quips Vince.